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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life--or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can't say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she'll be set for life. Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates. Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.…

Future Shock

by Elizabeth Biggs

Overall Book Review:

Future Shock is the story of five teens, their travels into the future, and their drive to change the way the future ends.  While classified as a science fiction read, due to the time travel elements, I would classify this novel as a murder mystery.  When the teens reach the future they find that four of the five have been murdered, and the remainder of the story is focused on trying to solve who murdered them and seeing if they can prevent their murders when they travel back the present.

This book is full of mystery and intrigue.  The author came up with creative technology that the characters encounter in the future.  While some of it may seem far-fetched, I have a feeling she is on the right track.  Because of this, the future scenes are quite believable.  The characters are well-developed, but are a little stereotyped:  angry Latinas who can fight, foster kids who are angry and rough around the edges, and the nerdy white kid.

The higher age recommendation is due to content (see below) and the situations the characters encounter.  

Overall a good read with an interesting plot line and enough twists and turns that the ending wasn’t predictable.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Albert Whitman & Co.

Content Analysis:

Language:  10 religious exclamations; 38 mild obscenities; 4 derogatory names; 26 scatological words; 6 anatomical terms; 5 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Teens threaten to fight each other (three times); video game violence of penguins hitting each other; three secondhand reports of murder-in addition to murder theme throughout book; two secondhand reports of suicide; teen punches another teen (twice); teen points handgun at another teen (twice); report of death via car accident; teen hits police officer with electric baton; teens have physical fight with police (twice); teen notes another’s forehead is bleeding; teen reports being beat up at school when younger; teen relates story of when three other female teens beat another teen and covered her in lighter fluid and were about to set her on fire when teen arrived; teen relates story of domestic violence between parents; graphic description of husband beating and killing wife with club; teen is electrocuted by police baton; teens subdue guards by use of chloroform; police officers shoot at teens; adult shoots and kills police officer; teen sees blood on wall following suspected murder; teen finds bloody dead body in dumpster; teen finds another teen murdered in bloody bathtub; adult points gun at teen and relates story of how other teens were killed; two teens and adult fight over gun and adult is shot and killed in process.

Sex/Nudity:  Teen male is nude from waist up; teens hold hands (five times); teens enter strip club and lack of clothing is noted (no graphic descriptions); teens request private dance at strip club; teen sits on another teens lap in suggestive way; teen flirtatiously touches another’s arm and implies more to get her way; teens kiss (five times); teen caresses another teen’s face; teen character asks another if “you are going to have your way with me”; teens undress each other and are on top of one another but stop just short of having sex (graphic detail of undressing).

Mature Subject Matter:

Parental incarceration, overdose of a parent, spousal physical abuse, child abuse implied, fake ID’s, evading police, breaking and entering, robbery, bisexuality of teenager, foster care, murder, suicide.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Teen smokes cigarette; parents are drug addicts; alcohol is used by adults.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.